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 November 2019

 

 

 

 

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A view from the shuttle on the way to La Paz

 

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I'm losing interest in bees lately and bee-related posts are infrequent these days but at one time I was very involved in beekeeping. Just about every topic has been covered somewhere on this site some time or another. Your best bets for finding ideas are:

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Note: I have been doing a bit of bee writing lately and there is some mention here and on recent previous pages, but it is mixed in with my daily life.

 

 

Friday November 1st 2019
 

I woke at 1220 and decided there was no sense in lying there or trying to snatch the last few minutes of sleep before the alarm at one. I got up and got started on my day.

About six hours from now, I expect to be taxiing out from YYC, bound for SJD and La Paz.

I looked out and don't see any fog, so the drive should be okay.  I should check my tires a while before leaving seeing as they were just mounted yesterday.

i got to Bert's a bit early and had to wiat a bit, then we drove to YYC.  The Check Engine light came on again and the fuel economy is down, so I am guessing that the purge valve is shot.  No matter, the van still runs fine.  Add that job to the growing list.

 A while later, I emerged from Terminal 2 at SJD with three hours to kill. I had a few beers and a nap sitting in a chair on a patio, then got on board the Ecobaja shuttle for La Paz.

We were in the smaller, older van and the ride was rough.  We took the Los Barriles route over the mountains with twists and turns and our driver drove a bit too fast and braked hard making a usually pleasant trip into a mild form of torture. He also did not speak any English so the ride was mostly silent.  I take the shuttle to meet people and have had some interesting friends in  the past.  Not this time.

I did manage to tell him my destination, however, and he dropped me right that the corner of Mariano Abalslo and Antonio Navarro.  My habitacion is right above the Yza Farmacia on the SW corner.  I checked in and walked down to the boat yard to see Baja Magic.  The boat is sanded and ready for bottom paint.  I had expected it would be done by now, but this is Mexico.

I called Miguel and he said he was at the La Costa restaurant right next door and I met him there. I asked about his Timber business and he knew nothing about it.  Apparently I have been scammed.

We went to the boat for a while and looked at the progress and agreed  meet there in the morning.

I returned to my Airbnb, and, having been up since one or so local, I was tired and went to bed early.

Quote of the Day
I hate women because they always know where things are.
Voltaire

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Saturday November 2nd 2019

Today Mainly cloudy with 30 percent chance of showers. High 8. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Cloudy. 60 percent chance of showers this evening and after midnight. Low plus 1.

I slept well and am up at seven.  I have only water, not coffee or food in this rather barren room.  I'll go out in a while to forage.

I walked toward the sea and as I passed Bandidos, a bar on the corner across from my boat yard, notable until now for the noise and smell of burning beef in evenings,  I was accosted by a pleasant woman who introduced herself as Norma and invited me to buy breakfast there.  Why not?

I had a burrito and coffee and walked on towards the Club Cruceros clubhouse. As I passed Toto's, an open restaurant I had passed many times but not really noticed, i decided to go in for a coffee.  I had just eaten, but was impressed by their menu.  I'll be back.

At Club Cruceros I sat a while, then left, walking back to Baja Magic. Miguel and Antonio, his helper were there.  He had some concerns about the gear shift, so we worked on that, then went aboard and turned on the fresh water system, tightened up some hose leaks, and turned on the refrigerator.  It works, so the compressor must not have been flooded.  So, two major systems are fine. The solar panels are charging, but only at an amp or two, so the panels must be dirty or the controller may be set incorrectly.  Also, the sun was getting lower and that could be a factor.

I returned to my room and napped, then went for supper at La Costa.  I was not really hungry, but thought i should eat.  I ordered quesadillas and they were excellent, but too much.  I ate them anyhow and walked back home.

I watched The Good Wife and while and went o bed, but could not sleep, so got up and watched some more. I finally got to sleep sometime after midnight

Quote of the Day
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Winston Churchill

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Sunday November 3rd 2019

Today Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of flurries or rain showers changing to 30 percent chance of rain showers or flurries near noon. Wind north 20 km/h gusting to 40. High plus 4. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Mainly cloudy. 30 percent chance of rain showers or flurries changing to 30 percent chance of flurries this evening. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 7. Wind chill minus 10 overnight.

I slept badly.  I knew I should not eat so much so late, but I did and I paid for it.

I got up at eight, checked online, and and discovered that I only reserved this room for two days, not three as I had assumed, and I have to be out of here by noon with nowhere to go until tomorrow. 

It seems this room is booked tonight, but I went online and managed to snag the one next door for tonight.

I walked down to Toto's for breakfast but found it closed and went back to Bandidos for coffee and a burrito, then walked home and wrote email and packed.

Check out is twelve and check in is at three.  It is noon now, but I was told to wait until the staff comes to clean the rooms, so now I am waiting to check out and check in again.  It gives me a chance to catch up here.

 

These rooms are right above a busy main intersection and it is noisy here.  A bar across the road plays loud music day and night. Parades, motorcycles, hot rods, ambulances, and sound trucks go by until well after midnight.  My apartment for the coming week is further down this side street and will be quieter, but over there, as I recall, the doves make a racket.

I reserved that place for a whole week.  Maybe that is too long, and my boat will be ready to launch and cruise sooner but maybe not.  This is Mexico and it is wise to assume things will happen, but not in any sort of rush.

The staff came to clean the rooms and fix the toilet, so I should be able to move soon.

When I arrived, there was water on the washroom floor.  I mopped it up, but then the water returned, so I reported it. Maybe the toilet leak will be fixed properly, but maybe not.  Plumbing seems to be a mystery in this region. I had a similar problem in my last apartment here and rather than install a proper gasket, the staff simply put silicone around the toilet base.

By two, I had changed rooms and I went for a walk to the boat.  I went in and looked things over and in the process discovered that about $250 worth of my books had been destroyed by water.  They were below a portlight and either it leaked or someone left it open.  It is closed now, and I aired things out, but what is done is done. They are ruined.

I seem to be losing more than usual lately.  Not bigtime, but a lot of little things.  I assume it is a streak and will pass.  Maybe not, who knows?  I am getting old and by all accounts the path is downhill.

I had an excellent nap, then called Inflatable Bob to see if he has any dinghies for sale.  He does and came to pick me up, but I did not see any I like.  He said he would let me know when he has more and drove me back to my room.

I figured I should have supper, so walked to The Toro Guerro, four blocks away and had tow beers and a super burro.  The meal was fabulous, but again, too much food. I am learning.

I usually cook for myself when on the boat or in an apartment, but have no facilities here.  An apartment is slightly more costly, but the convenience and cash savings from having a kitchen soon covers the difference.

After, I watched video and went to bed late.

I'm quite burned out lately and just relaxing as much as I can and assuming that I will sharpen up soon.

Quote of the Day
Don't aim for success if you want it;
just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.
David Frost

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Monday November 4th 2019

Today Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Wind up to 15 km/h. High plus 1. Wind chill minus 6 this morning. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Snow. Wind becoming north 30 km/h gusting to 50 after midnight. Low minus 3. Wind chill minus 4 this evening and minus 10 overnight.

I was up for an hour after midnight, then slept until seven.  Morning light comes early here compared to Alberta at this time of year.

I have a few things to do today. A dentist is high on the list as is the bank.

My check out is noon and my check in at the new apartment is three, so I have kill a few hours.

Since a dentist is high on my list due to some bothersome teeth, I made an appointment. 

Miguel had recommended a dentist uptown and she is a bit more expensive, but he says the money is worth it.  Although I did get some good work done for cheap, one tooth continues to bother me.

I also decided to sign up for an Airbnb snorkel expedition this evening.

I checked out a bit late and, having nowhere to spend the waiting time, dragged my bag down the marina and lifted it onto the boat.  I spent two hours there, fiddling with things and then checked into 51 Antonio Navarro.

This apartment is downstairs from my previous digs at this address, and is darker, with no balcony, but is better furnished. Whoever did the decor had a small budget, but cool ideas.

By then it was time for the dentist and I caught an Uber over to the clinic.

The dentist cleaned my teeth and gave me an estimate. I have known that I need lots of work and this confirmed it.  I could buy a decent used car with the cost, but the work can be done before I leave.  I scheduled to begin Wednesday at noon. 

I was finished and was about to get out when my phone rang.  It was Sylvia who runs the snorkel trip I booked.  They were leaving early due to the time of moonrise today.  The fluorescence is most visible in total darkness. We agreed I'll go tomorrow.

Uber took me back home.  I bought water and beer at Oxxo, then went home.  I wasn't hungry yet so I did some catching up, and watched video.  By ten, I was getting hungry and had no food, so I called a ride to Chedraui.

I bought some groceries and rode home again.

The plastic bag insanity has reached La Paz now.  Where once the store bagged groceries, now we have to bring our own bags.  At the same time, at the same stores, food is over-packaged in clam shells that use five times the plastic that a shopping bag does, bottled water is on sale in disposable bottles, and Coca Cola is on sale.  A recent audit on plastic trash around the world concluded that Coca-Cola was the largest plastic polluter.

Also consider the amount of energy spent moving drinking water around in trucks when tap water in North America is potable and sometimes better than bottled water.  Folly! 

Plastic shopping bags are a scapegoat and a distraction.  Look at the disposable water jug and the egg carton (right).  Both use far more plastic than a shopping bag and are not useful for other things.  Personally, I re-use the shopping bags for trash and other purposes.  Shopping bags are the least of our worries and banning them is a token gesture.  Virtue signaling, it is called.

As is so often the case, when changes are made, the decision to to sacrifice some token truly useful and ubiquitous item and not the real culprits.  We see that also when governments cut services.  It is the frontline workers that go, not the overpaid deadwood hiding upstairs.

Quote of the Day
I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand.
Confucius

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Tuesday November 5th 2019

Today Periods of snow and local blowing snow. Amount 2 to 4 cm. Wind becoming north 30 km/h gusting to 50 this morning. High minus 1 with temperature falling to minus 10 this afternoon. Wind chill minus 4 this morning and minus 15 this afternoon. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Periods of snow and local blowing snow ending this evening then clearing. Wind north 30 km/h gusting to 50 becoming light this evening. Low minus 21. Wind chill minus 15 this evening and minus 25 overnight.

I slept until eight, got up and spent time doing some chores and research. Around noon, I wandered down and found Miguel and Antonio at the boat.  We were waiting for a ladder, then Miguel and I decided to go to Arjona to price dinghies. We got a quote, but it was almost $3,000 dollars!  Ouch.  I think I'll wait and find a used one.

 From there we went to the bank and found I was too late.

Back at the apartment, I chilled and watched video, cooked supper and went to bed early.

Quote of the Day
You need to find a way to live your life,
that it doesn't make a mockery of your values.
Bill Ayers

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Wednesday November 6th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Becoming sunny this morning. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind up to 15 km/h. High minus 7. Wind chill minus 25 this morning and minus 12 this afternoon. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight A few clouds. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 19. Wind chill minus 17 this evening and minus 23 overnight.

I'm up at six and catching up before banking at nine and dentist at noon.

I missed the morning VHF net.  Somehow I thought it was at nine, not eight. 

Just after nine, I Ubered over to the bank and got my debit card.  The process is a little heavier-duty than in Canada.  I had to have both hand fingerprinted!  While this was happening, an armoured car came with a deposit.  A big guy came in with a little bag, followed by another with a scattergun.  The second stood in a corner. The first did his delivery with his hand on the revolver holstered by his side.

I then walked to Chedraui and bought a few things. 

At the checkout, I realised that I had not brought bags.  Bummer! I checked out and took my goods in the cart toward the door and came across a stack of boxes.  Saved.

Uber took me home and I did a few things, then Ubered to the dentist.

The dentist this time was a different lady.  She removed the crown and packed the tooth with a disinfectant, prescribed an antibiotic and I was done.  I rode to Lopez Marine and bought hinges for the toilet seat on Baja Magic. These little pieces of plastic cost me $23 US!.

From there, I walked to the yard where Miguel, Antonio, and Miguel's son were still painting the hull.  The process is slow since they have to wait for the paint to dry between coats.  They had found Ultra beer I had left for them.

I'm now back at the apartment with nothing to do except maybe walk over and get some drinking water.  I also have to get my prescription filled for clindamycin to ensure my tooth does not become infected.

I picked up my 5-gallon drinking water jug and was going out the door to walk to Marina de la Paz to fill it when I saw the water truck was sitting at the curb right in front of my door.  How often does that happen?  A few pesos and a quick bottle exchange and the job was done. That saved me long walk with a heavy jug.

Next I went to Yza Farmacia and filled my prescription for 92 pesos and continued on, walking to several nearby marinas to see if there is space.  No luck, so far, at least.

I returned home, made supper, watched more video and here I am with a few hours until bed.  I think I'll study Spanish.

I've reached the point with the language where I am realising I have no confidence about conjugating verbs and declining nouns, pronouns and adjectives.  I seem to say things that are comprehended by others, but wonder if I am anywhere near correct.

That is talking. As for listening, most conversation is too quick to process, and Spanish speakers run words together, compressing or omitting syllables. Regardless, when people speak clearly and slowly I am surprised how much I catch

At home, the weather has cooled further and there is snow on the ground. On the surveillance, I see the house is down to five degrees Celsius. C commented on how little coal had been consumed thus far.  We'll see how long that continues.

I realised that with the boat launching in a few days from now, I need to find a slip.  I have no dinghy, so even if I decided to anchor out, I couldn't.  I wrote to two marinas and we'll see.

Quote of the Day
If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold,
it would be a merrier world.
J. R. R. Tolkien

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Thursday November 7th 2019

Today Increasing cloudiness this morning. Clearing this afternoon. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming light this morning. High minus 2. Wind chill minus 33 this morning and minus 6 this afternoon. Risk of frostbite. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Partly cloudy. Clearing near midnight. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 7. Wind chill near minus 8.

I'm up at seven and planning to get better organized today.  I received two responses to my marina requests, both positive, but Marina Palmira, my previous home quoted me a very high price compared to what I paid in the past.  I wrote back requesting a continuation of my old price.

I also heard from Marina de la Paz and went over to talk.  There, I received a quote that was comparable to my old price at Palmira, so I said I would let them know in a day or two.  I'm waiting to see how Palmira responds.

Palmira has a pool and other facilities that are very nice, and is a half-hour closer to the Islands, but is two and one half miles out of town centre and away from Club Cruceros and the chandleries.  I have to decide which of these convenience factors is more important.

I stopped by the boat and found Miguel at work mixing paint. He will talk to Victor about polishing the boat.  Now, I need to measure my overhang.  A foot or two might bump up the price, seeing as mooring cost is priced by the foot.

I returned to the apartment and after a while, walked to the corner and caught the collectivo.  Collectivos are old school buses that run on regular routes and cost less than a dollar.

My thought was to go to Walmart and this one was going that far, but I got off at Chedraui and bought a few things and walked to Waldo's for scissors.  I caught the same collectivo back home. I noticed I was the only obviously non-Mexican on board.  Somehow the difference is obvious.

I made supper and watched more video and went to bed early.

I am somewhat depressed.  I've been here a week now and am still three days for launching the boat.  Odds are that will have some kinks.  I still need to find a dinghy and I have a few more days of dentistry with big bills for the work on Baja Magic, the marina, and a dinghy.

I'm assuming things will get better...

Quote of the Day
The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world.
Lies will pass into history.
George Orwell

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Friday November 8th 2019

Today A mix of sun and cloud. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40. High plus 4 except 8 over western sections. Wind chill minus 17 this morning. UV index 2 or low.
Tonight Cloudy. Risk of freezing rain overnight. Wind southwest 20 km/h gusting to 40 becoming light this evening. Wind becoming north 20 gusting to 40 after midnight. Low minus 6. Wind chill minus 12 overnight.

That was about the worst sleep I've had in ages. I was up and down all night.  I wonder if it is the antibiotic I am taking for the dental work.  I go for another appointment this afternoon and then again tomorrow.

The most invasive work is a root canal on a tooth that was done previously in Bucerias a few years ago. A dentist in Canada examined it and quoted me thousands to repair it.  Here, it will cost $4,000 MXN or $277 CAD plus the crown at $6,000 MXN or $415 CAD minus 5%. The tooth has very little left, and will need a post, but it seems it can be reclaimed. This an expensive dentist, but highly rated and also recommended by Miguel.

A number of other crowns will need replacement as well and my appointment today is to begin that work. I'll have two wisdom teeth extracted as well.  That should be interesting.

In have been in a fog the past few days.  Nothing is going as planned, but I'm trusting things will level out.

I spent the first hour fighting with Surfshark, my VPN.  It has a way of locking up my Internet on the laptop and it takes a lot of skill to defeat it. 

Then I checked out the marina quotes and got a better quote from Palmira, but it is still too high, so I called Neil and committed to Marina de la Paz.  As I said, it has its pluses and minuses compared to Palmira, so we'll see how I like it.  At least it is close to my present location so if there are issues with the drivetrain, the distance is short.

I then walked to Baja Magic and got some clothes that need washing and took them to the washer at my apartment, only to find it does not seem to work.

Shortly, I go to the dentist again.

I Ubered over to Clinic Cosmident and sat in the chair for a while as the dentist removed several crowns that had lost their seal and then left an hour and a half later with a frozen mouth and uncapped teeth.  I could not feel my lower lip.

I walked a half-block north to Melchor Ocampo where I had seen collectivos pass earlier and then walked west down Melchor Ocampo to centro.  There, I found a collectivo with "Walmart" on the header.  It about to depart and I knocked on the door.  Ten pesos (70 cents) a ten-minute ride later I was at Walmart. 

I had not been to the La Paz Walmart for a while and had forgotten how it compares to Chedraui.  Walmart is bigger, with more selection.  I bought bananas, mushrooms and an avocado and took a plastic bag from produce to carry them in since the bag insanity has hit even Walmart here.

Outside, I caught the collectivo back home.  On the way, I noticed a Soriana Hiper two blocks further south from my usual Chedraui on Abosolo and decided I'll visit it next time I need to shop.

At home, I made supper, did some troubleshooting and watched video, then went to bed at eight.  I'm burned out and hope a good night's sleep will help. 

Quote of the Day
An intellectual is a person whose thought is non-imitative.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,

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Saturday November 9th 2019

Today Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Snow beginning late this afternoon. Risk of freezing drizzle this morning. Fog patches dissipating this morning. Wind north 40 km/h gusting to 60 diminishing to 20 gusting to 40 near noon then becoming light this afternoon. Temperature falling to minus 8 this afternoon. Wind chill near minus 13. UV index 1 or low.
Tonight Snow at times heavy. Amount 10 cm. Wind up to 15 km/h. Low minus 14. Wind chill minus 13 this evening and minus 18 overnight.

I slept well and am up at seven.  Things are looking good at home and reports are that the fuel consumption has dropped greatly since I installed the new thermostat.

This morning, I return to the dentist at eleven to have more work done. After that?  Maybe I'll catch a collectivo to anywhere. I notice one runs to Ballandra.  It is Saturday, though, so the beach could be very crowded.

Security has become a big concern and it seems that recently the bad guys are winning.  I'm quite savvy, but got taken by a scanner who broke into Miguel's email.  I'm running scans--Trend Micro, eSet, and Malwarebytes--and also using a VPN, but who ever knows?  Stealing phone numbers seems to be on the rise and data breaches are being reported in greater numbers.  Is it even safe to be online or have a cell phone?

I was at the dentists' on time and after a short wait I was in the chair.  After an hour and a bit with my mouth open, my jaw began to quiver.  The dentist put in a block so I did not have to strain to keep my mouth open. 

A while later, the post was done and my temps were installed.  I walked outside and called an Uber and home I went.

 

Miguel had called several times while I was in the chair and was worried when I did not answer. I called him back.  He is finding sanding the hull harder than expected and also wants money. 

Who doesn't?  I promised payment when the job is done and got scammed into paying him early--to the scammer--so I guess I still owe him.

Miguel is over a week late launching and that has cost me time on the water and Airbnb time -- and I have not yet inspected all his work.  I'll give him a bit more in advance, but will have to be strong and hold out for the balance until the job is totally done.

Back at the apartment, I walked to Oxxo and back, then relaxed a while. At four, I walked to the boat yard and met up with Miguel.  He came back to the apartment, we had a beer and I gave him a small advance. The plan is still to launch on Monday, but we'll see.  I think I'd better extend my apartment stay.

How's my Spanish? Although I am able to make myself understood and respond appropriately now in Spanish on the street and the stores (I think), I really don't catch much of conversations around me.  I generally get some understanding, however, when people speak directly to me.  

I've taken time away from daily study and that sometimes helps, but I notice that my perceptions of grammar and syntax have shifted.  I seem to have absorbed some aspects to the point where I don't have to translate what I hear and respond naturally without thinking, but am never sure if I am saying what I think I am.

Learning is contextual and what I know well in one context may escape me in different circumstances. 

I stayed in for the evening and went to bed early. 

One of the temporary caps came off at supper and I was only eating soft beans at the time.

I ask myself, am I having a good time?  Yes, and no.  This seems more like something to get through than fun and where I go from here is far from certain.  I've been here over a week now and am still on land.

Quote of the Day
As a child I assumed that when I reached adulthood,
I would have grown-up thoughts.
David Sedaris

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